First, the good news is that the threat for tornadoes and severe storms has decreased a little for Galveston County. Generally, the latest prognostic outlook from the Storm Prediction Center and the Houston-Galveston National Weather Service has lowered the risk category for most of Galveston County from an enhanced chance of severe weather to a slight chance.
This does not mean, however, that we are out of the woods with this weather threat. We still have a deep upper and mid-level low pressure trough moving east, a cold front scheduled to move into our area later tonight and ample moisture.
What has led to the slight decrease is that the latest data is suggesting that a cap (temperature inversion) over Southeast Texas may persist today due to extensive cloudiness and cooler temperatures. The lower temperatures would tend to decrease atmospheric lift and tend to suppress storm activity to some degree. However, the atmospheric pattern is very volatile and fluid. A slight change could result in a drastic increase in severe weather possibilities for our area.
So what should we watch for?
One would be an erosion of the clouds and warmer temperatures this afternoon. Another would be the development of severe storms this afternoon or early evening ahead of the front. A third would be an upgrade in the risk level from the Storm Prediction Center and our local National Weather Service Office. And, of course, it wouldn’t hurt to check the radar before going to sleep tonight as the storms likely won’t reach our area until early tomorrow morning. Finally, it wouldn’t hurt to keep your phone nearby so that you can hear any alerts coming in the wee hours of the morning.
Personally, I plan to reposition the furniture on our front porch as strong, gusty winds will be likely as the storms reach our area and the cold front moves through. On the plus side, any heavy rains are likely to be fairly brief, minimizing the chance of any significant street flooding.